Jajpur: The tardy pace of some Biju Setu s including the one across Sanagenguti river connecting Jagannathpur to Bhuban rural development road in Jajpur have left the Jaraka rural development division fuming. Even though the RD authorities have served show cause notices on the concerned contactor of the Sanagenguti project five times in the past, the bridge work has failed to make any remarkable progress.
The contractor was accused of deliberately delaying the work so as to seek an easy plea later for cost escalation or revised cost estimate of the bridge project. As per sources of the RD department, the project is being executed under Biju Setu Yojana at a cost of Rs 5.01 crore. According to the agreement signed with the contractor, the bridge construction started from February 7, 2020 and was supposed to be completed by August 6, 2021.
Till date, only Rs 2.40 crore has been spent and 47.85 percent of the work has been completed. The RD department is disappointed over the slow pace of its construction and termed it discouraging. The department has already slapped show-cause notices to the construction firm Bhubaneswari Constructions five times. In the latest notice issued May 9, the RD authorities have made it clear that the land dispute that existed earlier has been sorted out.
Besides, electric lines coming in the way have been shifted. The state government had allowed the construction agency to carry on bridge construction during the pandemic times. Hence, the slow pace of work will not be tolerated, it was said. The agency has been asked to submit an application for revised work and to finish the work by June 30, 2022. It is clear that if construction work gets delayed, its cost will be revised upward with change in the deadline. Earlier, costs of two bridge projects under Jaraka RD division had been revised due to construction delay.
One project is Bahujanga-Dhaudia bridge across Birupa river and a high level bridge across Sanagenguti river on Shakuntalapur road. Both the projects had inordinately missed deadlines. Construction agencies had applied at the superintending engineer of the RD department for cost escalation to Rs 1.61 crore. There are several other projects getting delayed with escalated costs.
Locals alleged that both contractors and engineers used to mint money in the name of construction delay. Executive engineer of the RD division Biswanath Marandi said the contractor has been asked to finish the work. Its cost has been revised as per official norms.